Anyone Have Add/adhd Or Have A Child That Does????

Lounge By dedra_w_1980 Updated 11 Jan 2009 , 5:02am by Deb_

dedra_w_1980 Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 2:00am
post #1 of 26

I'm a Single mom just trying my best to raise my 3 children alone. My oldest is really showing signs of being ADD not ADHD. I'm at my wits end with it. She is disrespectful, doesn't listen, can't follow instructions for nothing in the world, constantly forgets what her homework assignments are, she constantly has to be reminded of what she is suppose to be doing, has a hard time playing with her other siblings, we have to start our day out trying to keep her in a good mood just so our day will go smooth, She needs things to be in order(like wake up, take a shower, put clothes on, brush your hair, brush your teeth all the while I'm constantly having to tell her what to do) if it's not the day is messed up and things go south real quick with her, she has the most god awefull temper tantrums(she throws herself on the ground, screams bloody murder, kicks). I do my best to discipline her but it is really getting out of control and I don't know what to do anymore. I know she is lacking a father in her life and I still trying to deal with that. But what I really want to know is if there is anyone out there that has kids that do the same thing? Do your kids have ADD/ADHD? And what do you do to discipline them? I'm not looking for rude or crude comments or that I don't know how to be a parent. I'm really trying my hardest and looking for help with her. Just want other peoples positive feed backs. Thanks~Dedra~

25 replies
TexasSugar Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 3:03am
post #2 of 26

Have you talked to her doctor yet about this? If not, I would start there. It is possible she has add or adhd, and that meds can help make both your and her life much easier.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 3:30am
post #3 of 26

Yes I raised a hyperactive child. I love what you said about doing your best for her.

I think that the issues you are describing need resolution more than discipline. She needs some safe places to go when she perceives things are melting down beyond her ability to cope. I'd tackle the home thing first. Where she can get a good grip on what to do when she doesn't know what to do.

In a safe and calm time when nothing is pressing, I'd talk with her (in an age appropriate way) and say that when she starts to get that way--she needs to stop what she's doing and go lay down on her bed or got sit on the couch or whatever. Go to a safe place. That you will have a sibling or you yourself will come and help her. No more yelling no more tantrums because that is hurting her and others and you don't want her or anyone to hurt anymore.

Ask her what she loves to do--what does she want to do. I think this is more important than anything with this type child. They need the presence of the positive to have something to focus on.

I imagine you have everything all ready the night before for the next day--that's crucial. Obviously she cannot process verbal directions a la minute so she needs a coccoon.

I taught him how to breath so that he would not hold it all in then burst out crying. Taught him to exhale and breath rythmically concentrating on exhaling.

Meds are a personal decision. We did not medicate our boy. We got him on a special diet that helped a lot. Works for about 50% of hyper kids if memory serves.

I totally relate to what you're saying.

stephaniescakenj Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 3:48am
post #4 of 26

Absolutey start with her doctor and also consider the school physchologist. My brother had ADD. he was on ritalin all through elementary school. I'm not sure if meds are the answer though. he really zoned out when he was on them but he was crazy wild over the summer when my parents took him off them. I'm sure there are better solutions out there now but that was what was available 10 yrs ago. What you describe actually sounds a lot like my kids really. If they don't have their outfits ready to go the night before and everything laid out for them, it's too much for them to think about when they get up in the morning and the slightest little bump in the routine makes the two older ones completely go into melt down. Screaming and kicking, crying for no reason. My kids are younger though so i just assume it's the age for that but I find having all of their things in order before they get up to be a help and just to have a really positive attitude with them. If I'm relaxed and calm with a low voice, they tend to be a little calmer. If I'm running around like a mad woman, screaming to find shoes and matching socks and yelling about how late they are, then they go into hyper meltdown. And it's not just morning, I find that if I'm calm throughout the day, it helps which is not easy, I find myself hiding in the kitchen giving myself cooldowns sometimes before I handle discipline. But I know exactly what you mean, especially with my 3 yr old, I'm constantly reminding her what she's supposed to be doing, it's very frustrating. Good Luck. I hope you can find the help you need.

indydebi Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 4:31am
post #5 of 26

Get your child tested and be sure. Then you're not guessing or shooting in the dark. In our state, if we request ADD testing, the school is required to get it done within 21 (if I recall correctly) days. No cost to the parent.

My nephew was ADHD and I had my son tested for it. My son turned out to be a genius IQ kid and was just bored. Now my youngest daughter was a holy terror and it's just because she's a holy terror! icon_lol.gif (My oldest 2 are nice, responsible people .... my youngest wants to own a bar where her rock band can have a standing gig ... after she finishes her stint as a free lance photographer with NAt'l Geographic! God is getting back at me for SOMETHING I did!)

If she is ADD, it's not discipline that's needed (although all kids need that all the time, so I'm not saying dont' do it), but if a kid is sneezing all the time, you dont' punish them or discipline them for sneezing .... you give them medicine to control the sneezing.

ADD kids don't realize they are "acting out", so asking them to sit down when they feel themselves doing that is a little unfair. There are techniques you can learn that helps with behavior issues.

But you have no idea until you get her tested.

I agree that medication is a personal decision and they have improved greatly since my nephew was on them. In case you're not aware, ritalin and other ADD meds are not depressants ... they are stimulants. They stimulate the part of the brain that is functioning at a "slower" level to get it up to speed. (I get so upset when people who know nothing about ADD make snide comments about parents "....who just tranquilized the kid to make him behave!"). The medication is NOT a "calming" med ... it's a stimulant!

icon_redface.gif Sorry about the rant. I just watched my sister go thru SO much and she had to deal with a school system who wouldn't do the testing for 2-3 years. She had to threaten them with loss of their Title 7 Funding before they did what they were legally obligated to do!

redpanda Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 4:45am
post #6 of 26

Both my dh and ds have ADHD (Inattentive type), and I can tell you it is a challenge. Depending on the day, I have been known to say either, "I can understand why some animals eat their young" or "I can understand why Black Widows kill their mates". I don't mean it (usually), but...

You don't say how old your child is, but you might find that the book, The Explosive Child, might give some good insights.

Does your daughter have a lot of sensitivities to sounds, foods, textures, clothing seams/tags/fabrics? If so, you might want to obtain a copy of The Out of Sync Child, which has a lot of good information regarding dealing with that. We found that when my son's sensory regulation was improved, he was much more able to deal with life's challenges.

I agree with everyone else that says to talk you your child's doctor. I will add that if the doctor brushes you off, you might want to consider a different doctor. Often it really is a case of Mother Knows Best.

It is challenging, but I can say that when my son isn't making me want to strangle him, he is one of the most wonderful people on the face of this planet. I definitely feel that way more now than when he was younger, particularly between 5 and 8 years of age. He is almost 16 now, and while we definitely still have challenges, especially with regards to schoolwork and the sty he calls a bedroom, we have found ways to minimize blowups and ensure that at least the absolutely necessary stuff gets done (most of the time.)

Exercise is very important, as is giving your child opportunities for success. So often, they get used to hearing all the things they can't do right, that it is important that they have times where they feel proud.

Another thing I might suggest is getting into an ADHD parent support group. That can be a good source of information.

stephaniescakenj Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 4:48am
post #7 of 26

Wow Debi, my parents had the exact opposite reaction from the school. My brother was bouncing of the walls. (even my cousin, he would get up and walk out of class when he was bored) Back to my brother though, he would finish his work like he was supposed to, it was the free time that drove him nuts. It's like too many things flashed through his mind at once and he didn't know what he was supposed to do. The school forced him onto ritalin when he was in second grade. the pyschologist evaculated him before they even talked to my parents about the problems. They told my parents if he didn't take the medicine, he would be placed in the special needs class so they had no choice. when he was on it, he was very creative. He could just sit and draw pictures all day he was quiet and very methodical. As soon as the medicine wore off, he was out running around, acting like a lunatic. When he went to high school though, the school couldn't keep tabs on whether he was taking the medication or not so he stopped taking it. He grew out of it when he was a teenager and now he's a perfectly normal.

dedra_w_1980 Posted 15 Nov 2008 , 4:44am
post #8 of 26

Thanks Everyone for your input. Im in the process of getting her tested for it through our family doctor who I work with...lol...just never thought it would be my child who had it. But I guess it can happen with any of them. I'm going to try the calm and lowered voice this coming up week and try to stay calm through the storm...lol....But thanks everyone and I will still like some input or if you just have something you want to share with us. Thanks a million!!!~Dedra~

Also I like this saying it does make a whole lot of sense:

"If she is ADD, it's not discipline that's needed (although all kids need that all the time, so I'm not saying dont' do it), but if a kid is sneezing all the time, you dont' punish them or discipline them for sneezing .... you give them medicine to control the sneezing."

cmp24 Posted 15 Nov 2008 , 6:31am
post #9 of 26

Talk to your child's teacher. The teacher is the best place to start when trying to figure out what is going on. Ask the teacher if your child is doing the same thing in school. Does she listen, is she restless in school, not paying attention? The teacher will answer all of your questions, and give you advice on what he/she thinks. I know in TX they give the teacher a questioner to fill out, and you fill one out then your make a dr's apt. and see what the dr says. One of my children has ADHD, and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out what the deal was. It seemed everything went in one ear and out the other, and it felt like I was walking backwards with him until I got all of this done, and talked to the dr. He is much better now with the medication, and things have really calmed down. He's making b's in school now because he can actually concentrate on work.

With ADHD kids it takes a lot of patience to deal with them, because it's so tiring for you. Keep a box of tissues close, you never know when your going to lose it and break down. I did it quite often because there were times I thought I couldn't take any more of it.

-K8memphis Posted 15 Nov 2008 , 9:41am
post #10 of 26

Sports is real important, competitive sports--they learn to control impulses, they can use up some of that over abundant energy and they get success, teamwork, and learn how to be graceful in defeat.

koolaidstains Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 4:47pm
post #11 of 26

Since the meds for adhd are stimulants, you can also play around with caffeine. My dd is kind of borderline. When things get stressful and there is less structure, she gets worse. We've used meds with her and it definately helps. She's old enough to know she feels more in control and it doesn't make her feel "zoned out." I never wanted to put her on meds if she didn't like it. But, caffeine has the same affect. So, if she's doing okay most of the time, but once in a while is stuggling, I give her caffeine. I like the light starbucks doubleshot you can buy in the can (it's either no or low sugar). There are also some mints that have caffeine that I like. Stay away from energy drinks, they have other ingredients that can have adverse affects! But, if a long homework project is coming up, or she's just struggling with something, or if she's having one of her famous tantrums, I ask her to take some caffeine.

Deb_ Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 1:50am
post #12 of 26

oops!

Deb_ Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 1:50am
post #13 of 26

My daughter was just diagnosed with ADD last year when she was a freshman in college.

She was always the type of kid that put everything off "til tomorrow", couldn't complete a list of chores without getting distracted, had trouble keeping friends, was irritable, combative, etc. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she had ADD, I just thought she was a difficult kid.

Well, when she moved to college last year, her life literally fell apart. She couldn't function, couldn't do her own laundry, manage her money (she had over $1,000 in overdraft fees in a 6 month period), dropped one of her courses and failed 2 others her first semester and basically was heading for a nervous breakdown.

When she came home for Christmas break I knew there was something desperately wrong with her, I couldn't believe the change in her in just 3 months. My DH and I really thought she was doing drugs or something it was awful. I immediately set up an appt. with her physician who in turn got us in to see a psychiatrist. This Dr. is the one that suggested she be tested for ADD. After spending 5 hrs doing the screening process and testing she was indeed diagnosed with ADD.

He put her on Focalin 20mg in the morning and 10mg in the afternoon. We saw a huge difference in her within 2 days. She said it was like someone had "wiped her brain clean", she "could think clearly" and finally she "felt rested".

Looking back on her childhood I wish one of her teachers had come to me and suggested that she be tested. I think her school years would have been a lot happier and less stressful for her. I always just thought she was unorganized and moody and basically I made life easier for her by picking up the slack in her life. This is why when she moved out for college, her life fell apart......I wasn't there to help her with homework, laundry, friends, etc.

My advice to you is to definitely talk to the school about testing, they should cover the cost. If you don't get anywhere with the school speak to her doctor.
I wish you luck and patience. It takes a LOT of patience to deal with this. My DH and I actually went to a family therapist that specialized in ADD/ADHD issues and it helped us immensely with dealing with her.

Don't let anyone tell you that you're a bad mom if you medicate your child. People who will accuse others of this have NO IDEA how serious this disorder is and unless they have a child with ADD or ADHD they can never fully understand the strain it puts on the entire family. In my opinion, not getting our kids the help they need would make us bad parents.

I know you didn't ask for any but I will keep you and your kids in my prayers........I know exactly how you feel and I'm here for you if you ever have any questions or you just need to vent.

Take care,
Deb

Deb_ Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 1:52am
post #14 of 26

sorry triple posted somehow icon_redface.gif

-K8memphis Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 11:03am
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27



Don't let anyone tell you that you're a bad mom if you medicate your child. People who will accuse others of this have NO IDEA how serious this disorder is and unless they have a child with ADD or ADHD they can never fully understand the strain it puts on the entire family. In my opinion, not getting our kids the help they need would make us bad parents.




This is so way true. People are gonna think you're a bad Mom for a variety of reasons. Really watch out for that and for me, it was just easier to accept that people are judgemental that way. We would hope that family gets it but...I had enough on my hands without trying to change the world. And watch out for school counselors too. Watch out for people who should already know. Idiots come in all packages. Of course most of them 'get it'. But don't be surprised.

I want to add another thought about "the strain it puts on the whole family". The other kids might need a little therapy too.

When I said above for the child to be instructed to 'go to a safe place' to try to avoid a melt down I just meant that for an immediate band aid--not as any kind of permanent fix. I meant like for tomorrow morning.

How you all doing?

Bethkay Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 5:25pm
post #16 of 26

My son was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 5 and he is still on meds today at the age of 16. I know some people will frown at that, but he is seen by a child psychiatrist at a major teaching hospital twice a year. Let me just say that it is painfully obvious when he hasn't taken his medication! He clearly still needs to be on it.

Having meltdowns when things changed even the slightest was one of our child's biggest problems. He is academically gifted, so being bored on top of having a hard time staying focused without medication was a real challenge when he was younger. To this day I have to make sure he is looking at me when I speak to him, or I might as well be talking to the wall! He just has more important things to think about!

Getting a doctor's diagnosis is absolutely the right first step. Obviously, meds are a personal choice, but they were an absolute live-saver for us. We also taught our son what we called a "mantra." When something changed that made him uncomfortable, we told he to "go with the flow" and keep repeating that to himself. It seemed to help him.

Best of luck! I do remember that helpless feeling. It will get better.

indydebi Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 3:57am
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27

Don't let anyone tell you that you're a bad mom if you medicate your child. People who will accuse others of this have NO IDEA how serious this disorder is and unless they have a child with ADD or ADHD they can never fully understand the strain it puts on the entire family. In my opinion, not getting our kids the help they need would make us bad parents.




Amen!

I asked my sister if she had heard or tried the caffeine thing. She told me she did try it, but it's a general thing and doesn't really focus on the actual problem. It might work for some but not for all. She compared it to taking regular Tylenol for a sinus infection.... regular Tylenol will help with the pain, but not the pressure, inflammation or congestion. Caffeine pumps up your heart and makes everything run faster ... it does not focus on the part of the brain that is not functioning properly.

ADD is a physical ailment ... you would not tell a diabetic to just concentrate and work harder to get their body to produce more insulin. They need the medication to make their body work properly. That's similar to what the A.D.D. / A.D.H.D. person needs. They cannot just be "trained" to "pay attention" and "focus harder". There is a part of their body that is not functioning the way it's suppose to. Diabetic, heart condition, thyroid shut down, kidney failure, ADD ... all are physical ailments of the body.

As she and I talked, she agreed that medication and other treatments are the choice of the parent, but the decision should be made based on the the doctor's diagnosis of the child and the needs of the child, not on other-parents-peer-pressure and advice of what we call The Kitchen Table Legal Team. Having dealt with the issue for 20 years, she implores any parent to do what is best for the child and to heck with "what the neighbors think".

Carolynlovescake Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 5:09am
post #18 of 26

This really hits close to home tonight.

My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

Thankfully we have family and his school 100% behind us.

This is not an easy process to work through and the 2 weeks since his diagnosis have allowed me more patience and understanding with him but I'm drained physically, mentally and emotionally.

Deb_ Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 1:01pm
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

This really hits close to home tonight.

My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

Thankfully we have family and his school 100% behind us.

This is not an easy process to work through and the 2 weeks since his diagnosis have allowed me more patience and understanding with him but I'm drained physically, mentally and emotionally.




I feel for you and your family and I just wanted you to know that there are definitely better days ahead. Learning how to live with someone with ADD/ADHD is a daily lesson in patience and the best advice that I can give to you is to read as much as you can on the disorder. Therapy and group sessions REALLY helped our family immensely, even though my daughter was 19 when she was diagnosed, it was still important for my husband and I to learn how to interact with her when she is at home.

I don't know how old your son is or if he'll start medication or not, but just know that you are not alone. If you ever have a question or need to vent we're here for you. If he does go on medication sometimes it takes a couple of tries to find the one that will work best for him.

I wish you the best and I'll be thinking about you all.
Deb

classiccake Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 6:27am
post #20 of 26

I just caught this thread. We have a son who is now 28 who is ADD and has learning disabilities. Raising him was a real handful. Thank goodness I was an elementary school teacher, so I recognized some of the problems early and we had him tested in first grade. At least he had the school behind him, but it was never easy. When he was in third grade I ended up on Prozac that year because it was such a difficult one due mainly to his teacher who just did not get it.

Remember. you are his advocate and he needs you to go to bat for him, but be careful also not to be the enableler. It is a delicate balance.
We had to "train" his teachers each year in how to best work with him.

He got into smoking and some drug use in HS and post HS years. We locked him out of the house once....should have more! icon_mad.gif He was a basically loving kid who wanted to do good, but just kept screwing up. The smoking and drugs were a way to self medicate.

He struggled after HS because of his LD and could not get past the math in college. Finally, at the age of 25 we found a program at a technical college that he loved and did well in. He now works for a company that installs custom electronics in new home construction...cable, security, phone, gadgets that start fireplaces, move drapes, control the flow of waterfalls....cool stuff!

He straightened up, met a girl, date her for several years, they are getting married this year....and she is an attorney who graduated at the top of her class and works at a major law firm. Who would have ever thought???

So, it was not easy or fun, but we did get through it and he is now doing well. He is on adderal as an adult and tells us that he can really tell a difference in his concentration at work by taking the meds.

Hang in there!

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2009 , 2:58pm
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by classiccake

...Raising him was a real handful. ...

...At least he had the school behind him, but it was never easy...

When he was in third grade I ended up on Prozac that year because it was such a difficult one due mainly to his teacher who just did not get it.

Remember. you are his advocate and he needs you to go to bat for him, but be careful also not to be the enableler. It is a delicate balance.
We had to "train" his teachers each year in how to best work with him.




So well put. Real handful, never ever easy, I shoulda been on Prozac that year. Yes yes yes so true and so important on the delicate balance.

krysoco Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 5:08am
post #22 of 26

Consult your pediatrician to rule out anything else (like sleep apnea, food allergies, autism, OCD, etc.).
Change her diet. I believe red dye & other additives greatly aggravate symptoms.
Educate yourself w/unbiased info. Don't rely on your dr. to give you all the info.
Be leary of immunizations which can bring on symptoms of allergies, ADD/ADHD, autism, and the like. They are all tied to each other.
Try alternative therapy not just meds. Accupressure, chiropractic, meditation, massage, natural supplements for focus and concentration.
Working in the school system, I've seen first hand ADD drugs work like a miracle. But mostly others just 'zone out'. It's truly aggravating b/c adults are pleased w/those results so they don't have to deal w/the child's problems anymore. Which I know is not the case w/you. It's a sore spot for me right now. My nephew was put on meds for ADD. His mother constantly brags how good his grades are now. I'm amazed that she overlooks the fact that he's a zombie.
Don't worry about judgements. Do what's best for your DD and no one else.
When you find strategies that work, inform her teachers, coaches, etc.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 11:31pm
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by krysoco

. I'm amazed that she overlooks the fact that he's a zombie.




And if the meds continue will be a very small zombie from the lack of appetite and resulting stunted growth. Heart breaking.

fidos_mom Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 8:44am
post #24 of 26

"Aunt Flo" came to visit me when I was 9 yrs old. Almost two years before that I started having the symptoms you described. This was before there was a name for ADD or ADHD really. After my period started we saw a pattern of monthly pre-PMS that was just like that. The nuns at Catholic school were amazed. I think they thought I was possessed or something! icon_evil.gificon_cry.gificon_eek.gificon_lol.giftapedshut.gif

Chemicals in the body can be messed up for many, many reasons. Just giving you something to think about in the back of your mind if all the other tests don't come up with anything.

I wish you the best of luck and for a speedy diagnosis.
Lisa

krysoco Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 6:01pm
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by krysoco

. I'm amazed that she overlooks the fact that he's a zombie.



And if the meds continue will be a very small zombie from the lack of appetite and resulting stunted growth. Heart breaking.




It's very scary. He's lot a trememdous amount of weight. His mom is actually proud b/c she said he was over weight before. icon_eek.gif He is sooooo not the same child. It is truly heartbreaking for me to see him like this.

Deb_ Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 5:02am
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by krysoco

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by krysoco

. I'm amazed that she overlooks the fact that he's a zombie.



And if the meds continue will be a very small zombie from the lack of appetite and resulting stunted growth. Heart breaking.



It's very scary. He's lot a trememdous amount of weight. His mom is actually proud b/c she said he was over weight before. icon_eek.gif He is sooooo not the same child. It is truly heartbreaking for me to see him like this.




This is very sad and unnecessary. Does his mom realize that there are other meds out there that he may react better to? There is no reason for him to be "zombie like" or for him to lose so much weight.

My DD is on a very low dosage of Focalin and she in no way shows any signs of being a zombie, and she hasn't lost any weight (although she'd probably welcome that she's 20 now....wasn't diagnosed until she was 19). She tried 2 other drugs before she settled on Focalin.

I don't know what your relationship is with his Mom, but I'd try to gently bring up your concerns about this little guy. (I assume he's young). Maybe use the angle of you working in an elementary school and seeing a lot of this sort of thing. I think you'd be doing him a huge favor.

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